Jim Hollis founded Calculus Roundtable to make higher-level math classes like calculus more accessible, especially for minority students who face barriers. His hands-on, experiential approach aims to change the perception that math is intimidating or only for some people.
Instead of lectures and worksheets, students do creative, collaborative projects making rollercoasters and video games that relate math concepts to the real world. Peer mentors and role models from their own communities build confidence in themselves as “math people.” Group work and embracing failure as part of the learning process make his classes engaging.
Partnering with local STEM businesses for learning outside the classroom shows students how math applies in various careers. While some see AI as a threat, Jim believes the younger generation will find productive ways to use it we can’t yet imagine. His goal is to open students’ eyes to the math all around them if they take the time to look.